Therapeutic abortion in Islam: contemporary views of Muslim Shiite scholars and effect of recent Iranian legislation

Dublin Core

Title

Therapeutic abortion in Islam: contemporary views of Muslim Shiite scholars and effect of recent Iranian legislation

Author

Hedayat, K.M.
Shooshtarizadeh, P.
Raza, M.

Publisher

2006/11/00

Language

English

Publication Date

20061100

Abstract

Abortion is forbidden under normal circumstances by nearly all the major world religions. Traditionally, abortion was not deemed permissible by Muslim scholars. Shiite scholars considered it forbidden after implantation of the fertilised ovum. However, Sunni scholars have held various opinions on the matter, but all agreed that after 4 months gestation abortion was not permitted. In addition, classical Islamic scholarship had only considered threats to maternal health as a reason for therapeutic abortion. Recently, scholars have begun to consider the effect of severe fetal deformities on the mother, the families and society. This has led some scholars to reconsider the prohibition on abortion in limited circumstances. This article reviews the Islamic basis for the prohibition of abortion and the reasons for its justification. Contemporary rulings from leading Shiite scholars and from the Sunni school of thought are presented and reviewed. The status of abortion in Muslim countries is reviewed, with special emphasis on the therapeutic abortion law passed by the Iranian Parliament in 2003. This law approved therapeutic abortion before 16 weeks of gestation under limited circumstances, including medical conditions related to fetal and maternal health. Recent measures in Iran provide an opportunity for the Muslim scholars in other countries to review their traditional stance on abortion.

Primary Classification

12.3

Secondary Classification

12.3;1.2;4.4

Primary keywords

abortion--[pri];beginning of life--[pri];congenital disorders--[pri];fetal development--[pri];Islamic ethics--[pri];maternal health--[pri];sharia--[pri];therapeutic abortion--[pri]

Secondary keywords

abortion on demand;cultural pluralism;fetuses;international aspects;legal aspects;moral status;Muslim world;personhood;religious ethics;selective abortion;theology;trends

Subject

Iran--[pri];Shiites--[pri]

Subject

Sunnis

Subject

modern Muslim religious scholars--[pri]

Subject

pre-modern Muslim religious scholars

Journal Article

Journal of Medical Ethics 2006 November; 32(11): 652-657

Link for Internet access

Note

33

Primary Document Type

ja

Call Number

journal

Bibliography

48 refs.

Collection

Citation

“Therapeutic abortion in Islam: contemporary views of Muslim Shiite scholars and effect of recent Iranian legislation,” Islamic Medical & Scientific Ethics, accessed July 22, 2024, http://imse.ibp.georgetown.domains/items/show/34108.